The sentence was used as an example (I can’t remember for what), and besides getting confused with ソン (maybe I need to go over it again), I know multiple readings for 大, 会 and 出. I’ve seen 大 to be おお, たい and だい. Uhm, I think 会 is the kanji for, ‘meet’. It usually has the reading かい, but I’ve seen あ too. For example, あう (to meet). I’m fairly certain in this case it’s probably かい though. Whichever reading it is, ‘big meet’ doesn’t make sense .-.
And finally 出… しゅつ, で and だ! There’s so many, which do I use! This is the common problem whenever I try to read Japanese anywhere, I’m really not confident at all which reading I should be using.
The thing that you need to remember is that first there are words, as they exist in spoken language, and then you have kanji that are used to write them. That’s how any native learns to speak.
たいかい is a word, and you write it with 大会. It’s a tournament or big event… Not sure why you’d think that doesn’t make sense. A big meeting. A マラソン大会 is when a bunch of people meet to run a marathon.
I don’t know why the じょう of しゅつじょう (出場) is written with hiragana there, but that’s a word that means to make an appearance (in this case, at a marathon).
Focus on the words. Knowing readings will help you guess when you’ve never seen a word before, but that’s not how Japanese people think about the core vocab. Maybe they have to guess on obscure words, but so do we in English sometimes.
EDIT: I’m sure someone else will jump in with an explanation of onyomi and kunyomi, which I think might just be more confusing than necessary at this point, but suffice to say you’ll get better at guessing which readings to choose over time because of pattern recognition.
I think after reading your response, マラソン大会 makes a lot more sense now, I don’t know how I didn’t see that.
The reason it’s not written as 出場 is probably because I haven’t learned that radical/ kanji yet, and the first sentence is nearly always the one with only kanji you’ve learnt. So is 出場 a word you learn in the future? Because I thought the reading of 出 there was だ… ah, I’m not sure anymore.
I think it’s completely normal. If you don’t know the words, you will have a hard time with the readings (though you can make good guesses). But if you do know the words, it will be easy. You just can’t expect to know the reading of a kanji without the context in which it appears.
So it can very well be the case that you first have to skip ahead one or two symbols in order to know the reading. Even so, sometimes you will guess wrong - especially if you don’t know the word or the colloquialism. Then, consult a dictionary.
You gave the best examples: If you don’t know that 大会 is a single word, you will have to guess what it means and how to pronounce it. After time and a lot of reading you will come up with the correct reading for that word (and many others) on your own, because then you will have an intuition about when to use on’yomi and kun’yomi readings.
出場 does mean making an appearance. In this case, participate is probably a better translation for the situation of a marathon, but it’s not unheard of in sports to say “this is his third appearance at the [insert sporting event].” It depends on if this is a big star people are expecting to see, or just someone running for their own pleasure, for which translation you’d use.
登場 is the literal act of appearing though, as in the moment when someone appears, yes. Subtly different.
I’ve learned to read @uyu comments closely, they are very insightful! This is a good point. On KaniWani, I am currently struggling with an imbalance… easy recall of the kanji, but the hiragana keeps running away from me. But I cannot enter the kanji without the hiragana. I will redouble my efforts on remembering the hiragana/pronunciation.
Also very helpful! I find this sets expectations for me on how to utilize the kanji. I should master sufficient vocabulary to then successfully correlate with the kanji to achieve the equivalent of reading out loud in English with comprehension.
This makes me curious how many people using WK already have a large vocabulary, and can focus more on mapping kanji to their existing understanding, vs. those who are learning both at the same time.
This is a great thread. The OP’s sentence prompted me to go read a JSE post on the differences between は and には. My tutor and I are only up to Genki I ch2, very basic so far.